Protest against Foreign Workers


by Shariq
30th January, 2009 at 4:19 pm    

I’m disappointed though not surprised about the strike action being carried out to protest against the use of Portugese and Italian subcontractors.

Its what happens when the government repeatedly fails to make the case for trade and especially for the European Union. Even smart euroskeptics argue against European regulation, rather than against European free trade and mobility of labour which is what this case seems to be about.

Remember that closing economies off to outside links is one of the main reasons for the rise of fascism in the early 20th century, as well as exacerbating the great depression.


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  1. Anas — on 30th January, 2009 at 4:30 pm  

    Remember that closing economies off to outside links is one of the main reasons for the rise of fascism in the early 20th century

    How so? I haven’t heard that one before.

  2. Sunny — on 30th January, 2009 at 4:33 pm  

    whoops, didn’t see your post shariq.

  3. Rumbold — on 30th January, 2009 at 5:20 pm  

    Actually, the US and other countries closed their economies in full as a result of the Depression, when fascism in Italy had already taken hold, Hitler was on the rise, and Stalin’s Soviet Union (Tony Benn’s favourite place) was being shaped.

    And as a Eurosceptic, I support a free market and free
    movement within the EU. I would like to see a world free market.

  4. Lee Barnes — on 30th January, 2009 at 6:13 pm  

    I think Shariq has been reading the ‘National Lampoons Book of The 20th Century’.

    Fascism arose as a direct result of the collapse of the first globalist structure, The League Of Nations, and the capitalist integration of the global economy in the early 20th century combined with the rise of the Communist movement as an international movement after the Russian Revolution that caused fascist counter movements to arise and oppose Communism in European nations.

    Personally I am disgusted that he accuses British workers defending their jobs as ‘fascists’.

    What a pathetic thing to say you revolting little liberal lickspittle lizard !

  5. Don — on 30th January, 2009 at 6:26 pm  

    Personally I am disgusted that he accuses British workers defending their jobs as ‘fascists’.

    Why? You clearly don’t see the word ‘fascist’ as in any way negative.

    Not that he did, but then I wouldn’t remotely expect you to comment honestly on anything.

  6. comrade — on 30th January, 2009 at 7:11 pm  

    29.

    We need to high light the danger of Fascism in these times of recession, when cartain quarters are using the terms, British Jobs for British Worker. This is what led to the rise of facism in Germany, when Hitler became the mouth piece of the Right. Can history repeat it self?

    Rumfold
    And as a Eurosceptic, I support a free market and free
    movement within the EU. I would like to see a world free market

    Are we now living in world planed economy?

    What about free fair trade with all the world and free movement of Labour?

  7. Leon — on 30th January, 2009 at 7:24 pm  

    Does anyone actually believe a free market exists?

  8. comrade — on 30th January, 2009 at 7:35 pm  

    Does anyone actually believe a free market exists?

    Ask the people of the ‘Third World’

  9. Laban Tall — on 30th January, 2009 at 9:36 pm  

    Funny. We closed off the economy of apartheid South Africa to external links, and everyone said what a great idea it was.

    There are a lot of myths about protectionism and the Depression. The reason it was such a foolish thing for the Americans to do was that in the 30s the US was the pre-eminent exporter – the China of its day. When they raised tariffs and other nations retaliated, it hurt the US more, as the chief exporter. The US economy suffered more than the British, GDP dropping about 20% compared to Britain’s 5%. The British system of Imperial Preference actually worked rather well, and much of Britain remained prosperous during the 1930s, as new industries like cars, aircraft, chemicals and electricals expanded. Of course to run such a system you need an Empire – we couldn’t do it now.

    Protectionism worked pretty well for Japan and Korea post-WW2. Their economic miracles were founded on it.

  10. Genghis Cohen — on 30th January, 2009 at 10:12 pm  

    Does anyone actually believe a free market exists?

    It exists for the bnp, who’d rather pay a bunch of saudis and slovaks to print their newspaper instead of british workers.

  11. shariq — on 30th January, 2009 at 11:10 pm  

    I think its perfectly understandable that workers want to protect their interests. It doesn’t mean that its in the best interests of the economy. Also, bear in mind that we aren’t even talking about ‘globalisation’ per se but the natural working out of market forces within the EU. Portugal and Italy are hardly developing economies although Italy always seems to be behaving like one.

    Leon, I think the key point is that the market is constructed and underpinned by the state. Providing law and order, workers rights, upholding contracts, justice, giving social insurance to prevent individuals from ruin all help the market run smoothly. So you’re right, ‘open market’ is probably a better phrase to use than ‘free market’.

    Rumbold, I was making 2 distinct points – one being closing borders and lower prosperity helping to create the groundwork for fascism in the first place and secondly that once the economy went into a downturn (to put it mildly), protectionist policies made things worse for everybody.

    Laban, I agree that protectionism did help East Asia develop their economies and is an excellent argument against free market fundamentalism when it comes to development. I don’t think that modern Britain in the EU is a comparable example though. We already have a highly developed economy which relies on trade.

  12. Sunny — on 30th January, 2009 at 11:26 pm  

    As the Times reports, the BNP are trying to infiltrate these protests:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5617015.ece

  13. Leon — on 30th January, 2009 at 11:51 pm  

    Yep, BBC news had footage of BNP advans driving about near them…typical really.

  14. shariq — on 30th January, 2009 at 11:51 pm  

    I don’t remember which article I read it in, but the report Sunny links to also emphasises the need for fiscal stimulus in preventing devastating unemployment, and economic losses.

    In a theoretical world we might let the economy unwind out naturally before picking up again. However the social costs of unemployment going over say 10% would be way too risky as well as causing massive hardship.

  15. Leon — on 30th January, 2009 at 11:53 pm  

    Leon, I think the key point is that the market is constructed and underpinned by the state. Providing law and order, workers rights, upholding contracts, justice, giving social insurance to prevent individuals from ruin all help the market run smoothly. So you’re right, ‘open market’ is probably a better phrase to use than ‘free market’.

    The term free market is laughable term that nobody in their right mind should use (at least without falling about laughing at it). It doesn’t exist. ‘Open’ market is marginally better but still misleading.

    Chomsky said it best; ‘socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor’. That’s the basic set up of the ‘free’ market.

  16. shariq — on 31st January, 2009 at 12:00 am  

    I think we agree with each other but are using different terms. Would market based system of organising the economy work for you? (This could still have 40-50% income tax rates)

    If not then its possible you’re wrongly equating american style capitalism with all forms of market capitalism. In which case I’d refer you to my review of Will Hutton’s book.
    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/2629

    Part 2 would be up already if I had managed at least 5 comments :(

  17. fug — on 31st January, 2009 at 12:10 am  

    livelihoods, and therefore people’s dignity are being threatened. exert brainpower on finding a way to protect them rather than a fishing mission for ideology points based on ignorance of the specific context.

  18. Sunny — on 31st January, 2009 at 12:10 am  

    lol… there wasn’t much to say in response to that review for some reason…!

  19. allan campbell — on 31st January, 2009 at 12:45 am  

    correct me if i am wrong
    i thought that the elected government was to stand by the people who elected them in the first place
    we are in the soft and smelly stuff as a country so why are we wasting money on forign aid to third world countries and cancelling bad debts to said countries
    we are no longer great britan but we are a haven for british and euoropean scroungers its about time this government or any future government listens to ther populace and act on what they say and not what the government thinks is best for the economy

  20. shariq — on 31st January, 2009 at 12:53 am  

    fug – the fiscal stimulus should be used to provide greater income support to people who are being laid off. the govt can/is taking action to help with basics such as rising energy costs – again this should be targeted at those who are struggling.

    apart from that retraining grants work when the economy is going well, but are pretty pointless in a recession as there is nothing to retrain into.

    in the current context, if there is suggestion that there was some underhandedness (beyond the norm) which resulted in winning the contract then that should be investigated.

    the idea of creating green jobs should also be looked into. i’ve advocated new nuclear power plants before which would work but obviously projects like that, take time and aren’t really effective in providing a stimulus.

  21. comrade — on 7th February, 2009 at 12:23 am  

    Check this artical on immigration, below is an extract form it.

    http://www.lalkar.org/issues/contents/jan2007/cpbml.php

    Also, does anyone really believe that the percentage rate of unemployment (necessary to capitalist economics) would fall if all immigration ceased? And yet again we ask, as the plight of black British workers has been raised, at what point does the CPBML turn immigrant families into indigenous families? This question has to be constantly asked as it is on the basis of indigenous worker versus immigrant worker that the CPBML, Labour Party, Conservative Party, Lib-Dems, UK Independence Party and the British National Party are trying to turn worker against worker. Just where does this twisted logic that they put forward stop? Should someone from Barnsley be allowed to apply for a job in Brighton if someone living in Brighton is prepared to do it? If people from the South of England start to migrate North for the cheaper housing, should we drive them back at Watford Gap telling them to go and fight for cheaper housing in the South? When British dockyards, with the full backing of their workforces, compete with each other for shipbuilding contracts and try to win work to their area away from other workers in Britain does this not usually involve bringing down wages and conditions? The anti-immigrant argument, apart from freeing the bourgeoisie of all responsibility for the things that they actually have control over, is not just silly but very dangerous. There are many nationalities within Britain many of whom suffer discrimination whether they be first generation immigrants or born here. The type of arguments and nationalistic sentiments expressed by the CPBML encourage further attacks on all of these workers and must be challenged.

  22. R P Dutt — on 15th February, 2009 at 12:30 pm  

    Pretty obvious, I would have said. If you live and work here, you’re part of the British working class. If you don’t and an employer transports you in to undercut hard-won agreements, you’re not.

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